For most companies, “special editions” usually means trim, wheels and paint, and in the case of limited editions, just a limited number are made, usually set low enough to sell out—hopefully N minus one—so the special model isn’t left languishing on the lot. That’s not the way it will be with the Volvo C30 Polestar Limited Edition.
True, the production run will be 250 cars, and true, the Volvo C30 Polestar will come with new 17-inch Styx alloy wheels with matte black finish and every car will be painted in the new-for-2013 Rebel Blue. And of course, the C30 Polestar will be identified by Polestar badges on the rear and sides of the vehicle.
But under the hood is something uncommon for special editions. The standard 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine of the 2013 Volvo C30 Polestar will have 23 additional horsepower and 37 lb.-ft. of torque, up to 250 hp and 273 lb-ft respectively. This power boost comes from “increasing airflow into the combustion chambers” and advancing spark timing.
Tuning the engine for the extra power was done by Polestar, Volvo’s official performance partner. Polestar’s performance boost for the C30 doesn’t come with the usual penalty of poorer fuel economy. EPA fuel economy estimates don’t change, matching the standard C30 T5 R-Design’s rating 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway for the six-speed manual transmission and 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway with the optional five-speed Geartronic automatic.
Polestar’s ministrations aren’t limited to the engine. A Sport Chassis is standard on the C30 Polestar Limited Edition—identical to that on the on the C30 T5 R-Design—provides “improved chassis dynamics and steering reflexes.” Compared to the ordinary C30 T5, the Sport Chassis has 30 percent stiffer springs, and the shocks have a mono-tube design that builds up pressure quicker for 20 percent increased low-speed damping. Stiffer bushings and a 10-percent-quicker ratio make steering more precise.
To help the C30 Polestar Limited Edition look the part, it comes with standard R-Design cues including a color-coordinated body kit and a front grille R-Design logo.
Inside there’s an R-Design watch dial instrument cluster, special R-Design aluminum inlays, R-Design sport steering wheel and sport pedals. The C30 Polestar Limited Edition has premium leather in a choice of Off-Black or two-tone Off-Black and Calcite.
More standard features are equivalent to the Premier Plus trim level of the C30 T5 R-Design, including a power glass sunroof, power driver’s seat with memory, soft loadcover, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, power passenger’s seat, LED daytime running lights, Keyless Drive and active dual Xenon headlights.
So paint, trim and wheels? Yep, the 2013 Volvo C30 Polestar Limited Edition has those. But the Polestar has more power and better handling, and that makes it really special.